Mugabe To Push For Fresh Elections At SADC Summit

The three principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) are expected to attend the summit.

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, were summoned by SADC to attend a meeting of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security that will discuss regional troubled spots, particularly Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mugabe is accompanied by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche while PM Tsvangirai’s delegation includes Finance minister Tendai Biti, Energy Minister Elton Mangoma as well as Jameson Timba, the minister of state in the PM Office. The two leaders travelled separately and arrived in Angola on Wednesday.

Welshman Ncube, the leader of the other faction of the Movement for Democratic Change, is also expected at the meeting, which sources said would have a bearing on when Zimbabwe would have its next polls. Ncube’s team included party secretary general Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga.

The Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, known as the Troika, would be held on the sidelines of the regional grouping’s summit to discuss Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan which seeks to enhance cooperation between member states.

But in briefings as the three principals made their way to the Angolan capital, SADC and African Union (AU) diplomats accredited in Harare, said fireworks were expected at the SADC summit.

They said the Troika meeting was likely to eclipse the meeting of heads of state and government who will largely be engrossed with the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan put on the table.

“That’s where the meat is (in the Troika). SADC leaders want a full appraisal of what has been occurring since conflicting reports are emerging from envoys dispatched from Harare to SADC capitals,” said an African diplomat, speaking strictly on condition of confidentiality.”

Both President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai have sent various envoys to a number of countries, targeting specifically members of the Troika, which is chaired by South African President Jacob Zuma, the SADC-appointed mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis.

Apart from South Africa, other members of the Troika are Mozambique, Angola and Namibia.

President Mugabe is understood to have dispatched his envoys to these countries with specific briefs to push for polls this year while those sent by Prime Minister Tsvangirai had orders to debunk calls for fresh polls this year while there were still outstanding issues under the GPA.